The Effects of the Scientific Revolution

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History 208
Primary Source Paper
“Scientific Revolution”

Nicholas Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon and Joseph Needham. According to some excerpts from “Why Europe?” by Jack Gladstone and “China, Technology and Change” by Lynda Norene Shaffer, the work of these notable men can be traced back to having a significant role in the scientific focus of modern society, or what we now know to be the “Scientific Revolution” of the seventeenth century.

In a world where we are desperately dependent on advancements in modern science, we rarely stop to think about what got us to this point. We all too often overlook many of the global events that ultimately helped develop a universal method for understanding and manipulating the world that we know today. My intent in the sentences and paragraphs to follow is to outline, compare and contrast the impacts and surrounding events in scientific advancement prompted by Chinese ingenuity and Europe’s new knowledge from Asia, Africa and the Americas.

The first source that I would like to spotlight is a document titled, “China, Technology and Change” by Lynda Norene Shaffer. In this document Shaffer speaks to what are thought, by early advocate of the empirical method Francis Bacon, to be the three main inventions upon which the scientific revolution was based. These things were printing, the compass, and gunpowder. Bacon had no idea where these things had originated, but upon further reading, it is revealed that all three previously listed items were invented in China. Another name brought up in the document is that of Joseph Needham. At the time Needham was the foremost English-language scholar of Chinese science and technology. Due to Needham’s work, it was revealed to the Western academic community, that until Europe’s take-off, China was the unrivaled world leader in technological development. It is clearly stated that the impact of these Chinese inventions on Western Europe is well known....
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